Pittsburgh, Venice, Whitey Bulger: Your Wednesday Briefing

Pittsburgh, Venice, Whitey Bulger: Your Wednesday Briefing

(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)

Good morning. President Trump visits Pittsburgh, Venice floods and a notorious mobster meets a grisly fate.

Here’s the latest:

• A day of mourning and protest in Pittsburgh.

People came together in synagogues and cemeteries, united in grief over the Jewish worshipers killed in a shooting but split over a visit by President Trump.

Mr. Trump began his visit at the Tree of Life synagogue, where the 11 people were killed by a man spewing anti-Semitic rage and carrying four guns, which were purchased legally.

Mr. Trump went with the first lady — above center with a rabbi, Jeffrey Myers — and his Jewish daughter and son-in-law, who have helped shape his response to the massacre.

In the usually placid neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, now anguished by the attack, protesters gathered with messages like “President Hate is not welcome in our state.”

Meanwhile, in a new pledge to his anti-immigrant base, Mr. Trump said he would end birthright citizenship, which is guaranteed under the Constitution.

Doing so by executive order would be a highly dubious tactic, at odds with legal consensus. But ahead of midterm congressional elections on Tuesday, Mr. Trump is throwing everything at the wall, our correspondent writes.

• The City of Water, underwater.

Much of Venice was flooded as ferocious winds lofted the sea to one of the highest levels ever recorded in the city.

Hurricane-force winds and small tornadoes lashed Italy this week from Piedmont to Sicily, and the comprehensive mayhem left at least 11 people dead and many more injured or stranded.

Emergency officials were scrambling as fish swam in the streets of one town, century-old felled trees blocked roads in Rome and the mayor of Naples described “an atmospheric earthquake.”

In Venice, residents and tourists tottered on raised walkways or just waded, and many shops and restaurants were inundated.

There are now fears that the salt water will corrode some city treasures, and while a divisive, multibillion-dollar system of floodgates could have helped, it’s unfinished.


• The center isn’t holding.

A suddenly urgent question is who will be able to counterbalance forces tearing at Europe’s unity in the eventual absence of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who said she would retire after her term.

Ms. Merkel, above, has stood in the way of the populists who took over in Italy, Hungary and Poland. But now even Germany is considered politically unstable, and there is panic at the core of the E.U. — though critics of her support for austerity or migrants are happy to see her go.

An analyst told us that Ms. Merkel “created European consensus out of nothing,” and everyone wonders, “My God, who will do the job for her?”


• Blegh.

An unusual and controversial exhibition in Malmo, in the south of Sweden, invites visitors to explore their notions of food through sheer repulsion.

“What’s interesting is that disgust is hard-wired biologically,” said Samuel West, the lead curator at the Disgusting Food Museum, a touring exhibition. “But you still have to learn from your surroundings what you should find disgusting.”

Consider the lobster, once regarded as unfit for prisoners. And today, some people willingly eat maggot-infested pecorino.

More than 80 items from 35 countries are displayed. Australians have been galled by the inclusion of Vegemite, Americans by root beer. Above, pork brains.

• The eurozone grew 0.2 percent from July through September compared with the previous quarter, according to the E.U., and Italy reported no growth in the third quarter as manufacturing fell. All of this is likely to heighten Rome’s budget dispute with the bloc. Above, a factory in Italy.

• Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, announced $15 billion in profits for the latest quarter, a new high. But the memory-chip boom driving profits is looking ephemeral.

• Richard DeVaul, a director at the X unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, resigned after he was accused in a Times article of sexually harassing a female job applicant.

• China’s currency has been losing value since April, and further depreciation could give Chinese exporters a price advantage and undermine U.S. tariffs.

• Here’s a snapshot of global markets.

• The Kepler spacecraft, NASA’s farsighted space telescope, has run out of fuel and will be left to drift around the sun for eternity. Above, an artist’s conception of the Kepler-444 system, showing five of the 2,662 planets discovered during Kepler’s nine-year mission. [The New York Times]

• The end of austerity? Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, announced more planned spending on health, education, defense and even fixing potholes, but he said it hinged on reaching a Brexit deal. [The New York Times]

• Experts are puzzled and worried over what caused a pristine new Boeing plane carrying 189 people to crash under calm, sunny skies in Indonesia. [The New York Times]

• The notorious American mobster and F.B.I. informant Whitey Bulger, 89, was beaten to death in prison in what may have been a mob-ordered hit. [The New York Times]

• The trial began in Germany for a former nurse serving a life sentence for murder, on charges that he killed an additional 100 patients at two hospitals. [The Associated Press]

Tips for a more fulfilling life.

• In the port city of Nantes, France — once a hub in the global slave trade — students visit to see the country’s only memorial to the thousands of slaves taken by French ships to the New World. Above, an art installation at a nearby museum, where many slavery artifacts are kept.

• Christer Strömholm, a Swedish photographer, fell in with a group of transgender women in Paris in 1959. His photographs are an intimate and sensitive portrayal decades before such depictions were widely seen.

• A Halloween treat: With Luca Guadagnino’s remake of “Suspiria” showing in the U.S. and set for release beyond, we looked at the 1977 original and eight other Italian horror classics.

India is set to unveil the world’s tallest statue today, a bronze figure of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who played an important role in the country’s independence from Britain in 1947. It’s also Patel’s birthday.

At 597 feet (182 meters) tall, the statue, above, is almost twice the total height of the Statue of Liberty, including the pedestal, in New York City.

At the time of his death in 1950, Patel was described by The Times as part of “India’s idolized triumvirate” alongside Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru.

After independence, he became India’s first deputy prime minister and faced the outsize task of weaving together all of India’s disparate parts.

As sectarian violence exploded and one of the greatest migrations in history unfolded at India’s borders, the fate of more than 500 princely states hung in the balance.

Those states were never fully under British control, ruled instead by indigenous monarchs. Had they decided to remain autonomous, the newly independent country could have been further divided.

Patel negotiated with the different rulers and, within two years, persuaded all but a few to join the Indian union.

The states that initially resisted eventually gave in to pressure, although one, Jammu and Kashmir, is still contentious today.

The statue dedicated to Patel is called the Statue of Unity.

Alisha Haridasani Gupta wrote today’s Back Story.


Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.

Check out this page to find a Morning Briefing for your region. (In addition to our European edition, we have Australian, Asian and U.S. editions.)

Sign up here to receive an Evening Briefing on U.S. weeknights, and here’s our full range of free newsletters.

What would you like to see here? Contact us at europebriefing@nytimes.com.

Source link

About The Author

Momizat Team specialize in designing WordPress themes ... Momizat Team specialize in designing WordPress themes

Related posts

Leave a Reply